Tommy checks out the finished product.

In Episode 8 of Rough Cut’s second season, Tommy steps outside his comfort zone and delves into metalworking. The Veneered Coffee Table with Metal Frame project takes Tommy to the metal works shop of Payne Engineering, just down the road from his shop in Canton, MA.

The project also gives Tommy a chance to dig deeper into veneers, something he admits he’d like to do more of. When we talked to Tommy about the project, he had some interesting things to say about both metal working and veneers.

1) At first glance, metal and wood are two totally different mediums. Did you notice any places where woodworking skills would help in metalworking?

Tommy: They’re pretty much the same. You need to cut the material methodically, metal or wood. I was interested to know that metal behaves kind of the same way, it moves with heat. In many ways they’re basically the same thing. Of course metal is much tougher and you need bigger machines to work with it. But overall it felt like it was the same skill set. Instead of carving, you’re welding.

2) What was the most challenging aspect of the table project?

Tommy: Making the veneer look like it was not difficult to do. Basically reading the grain direction and making sure that the pieces were put together seamlessly.

3) Wood veneers can be made from a number of different species of wood and can come in a number of different colors and stains. When you choose a veneer is it strictly aesthetics or is there more that comes into play?

Tommy: For me it’s all about how it looks. It’s all aesthetics. When you work with solid wood, you kind of make do with what you have. With veneers, it’s really up to you. It’s not something I’ve really had the chance to dive into, so I was excited to do a project with it.

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody and be sure to tune into Episode 9, which airs this Saturday, November 25.